Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said Malaysia needs good Malay leaders who are not corrupt and who will care for all Malaysians. — Picture by Choo Choy May
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13 — Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his then deputy Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim have been “misunderstood” respectively as a Malay supremacist and Islamisation advocate, but they can still save the country from potential destruction by radical Islam and racial extremism, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said.
The former de facto law minister claimed that the country’s current leadership will not hesitate to use “radical Islam and racial politics” to stay in power, and pointed at Dr Mahathir and Anwar — two politicians turned rivals — as the nation’s hope despite the purported damage they had previously inflicted on Malaysia.
“There are two individuals still alive who can save this country. They are: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. “Unfortunately, they had a big fight 16 years ago and both used whatever weapons available to them to finish the other off. In the process, they destroyed the political, legal and social fabric of this country as well as its institution and values,” the former Umno man wrote on his blog in a post yesterday titled “Tun M and Anwar must get together”.
“We should not look back to the mistakes of the past to prove a particular point of view. Look forward. We must bring along with us leaders who are willing to move forward, even if they once went astray or had bad ideas. The dangers of radicalisation and racial extremism are real and will destroy this country if left unchecked,” he added.
Zaid said he once believed that Dr Mahathir was a “Malay racist” due to the “Malay supremacy” idea, but said Dr Mahathir is a “good man” and that the idea was not penned by him.
Dr Mahathir was sometimes seen as anti-Chinese in pushing Malays forward, but he was merely a strong leader with blunt views and who wanted Malays to be successful and not sidelined, Zaid said, noting that the former prime minister was never discriminatory nor hated non-Malays.
Anwar, now serving a five-year jail sentence for a sodomy conviction, should immediately be released and should once again lead the federal opposition, Zaid said.
“Anwar too has been misunderstood, and I too at one time did not trust his march for Islamisation. I thought he was part of the Muslim Brotherhood but now I believe he has shown enough commitment to democracy and good governance, so much so that even the DAP and others have begun to accept him,” he said.
Zaid said Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin — who was dropped as deputy prime minister in July — should also back Dr Mahathir.
“The old school Nationalist Malays (like Razaleigh and Muhyiddin) should rally behind Dr Mahathir, and both Dr Mahathir and Anwar should sit down with other ethnic leaders and those from Sabah and Sarawak, for a national summit where a proper agenda can be redrawn for the country,” he said.
Zaid said Malaysia needs good Malay leaders who are not corrupt and who will care for all Malaysians, citing new PAS offshoot Parti Amanah Negara for its pool of leaders and PAS leader Datuk Husam Musa as being capable of taking up the prime minister position.
Good non-Malay leaders such as Bersih 2.0 former co-chair Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and current chair Maria Chin Abdullah are also required, he said. – Malay Mail Online